Mystery Photograph: Can you help?

A Belgian historian has been in touch recently about the presence of Belgian refugees in Chard during the First World War. In particular the family of Charles Dooreman.

Charles was the son of Leopold Dooreman and Malvina De Clerck. Charles also had a sister Angela, and the family were living as refugees in Chard between 1914 and early 1919. They lived in the ‘The Brewery House’, and Charles attended a primary school to learn English. He looks taller and older than the other pupils in the photograph.

Do you recognise this school or the people in this photograph?

If you have any information about this photograph or Belgian refugees in Somerset during the First World War please contact:


A photograph from a Chard school 1915/1916. Charles Dooreman is in the second row ; second from the right .

Charles Dooreman (second row ; second from the right) at a school in Chard 1915/16


7 thoughts on “Mystery Photograph: Can you help?

  1. There was a private school at boys at Forton House, about 1 mile from Chard, also there was a private boys school in Chard.

    Kind regards

    Liz James

    • Hi Liz, I was a pupil at Forton House School from 1953 to 1957. As well as usual subjects we also did Falconry, Archery and Judo. It was a fascinating few years. Cheers, Mike

  2. The mystery is now over … Charles Dooreman was a pupil at Chard School in Chard. The photograph was taken in front of the chapel which sadly is no longer standing. A copy of the photo is on the wall of the Cerdic Room at Chard School for all to see along with other historic photographs and treasures. Thank you for contacting Chard School to put a name to one of the faces of the past.

  3. Miss Lindsay Rossiter from the Chard School , Independant Day School & Nursery , let me know that this is absolutely a photo of pupils from the Chard School in Fore Street Chard. Date 1915.
    “The back drop for the photograph is a building known as the Tin Tabernacle wich was in fact the Chapel. The building no longer exists.”
    Further information about the family Dooreman and other Belgian Refugees who stayed in Chard in the Great War (14-18) is welcome.

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